A Guide for People with Alpha-gal Syndrome
AGS and Dentistry
When you have AGS, dentistry can be more complicated. You need to tell your dentist that you have AGS and warn them that some products used in dentistry contain alpha-gal. Depending on how sensitive you are to alpha-gal, your dentist may need to modify your dental treatment. Some, but not necessarily all, products used in dentistry that may contain alpha-gal include:
- Topical numbing gel
- Prophy paste
- Topical fluoride paste
- Cat-gut sutures
- Collagen membranes for bone grafting
Your dentist may need to contact the manufacturers of the products they use and check to see if they contain mammalian byproducts or other sources of alpha-gal, like carrageenan.
Possible Substitutions ?
We are in the process of looking for a dentist with knowledge of AGS who is willing to write something on AGS and dentistry for this section of the website. If you are a dentist and willing to help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, the best we can do is to provide this list of possible substitutions that were purportedly recommended by a Dr. David Irby in a Facebook alpha-gal syndrome support group.
We cannot recommend these substitutions or vouch for their safety, and we have not been able to reach Dr. Irby to confirm his recommendations. Your dentist needs to research these products and verify their safety themselves. This list is provided to help them begin the research process.
From Facebook purportedly posted by dentist David Irby:
1. Avoid topical numbing gel, replace with clove oil
2. Avoid Prophy paste, replace with baking soda Prophy Jet
3. Avoid topical flouride paste, replace with non-gelatin fluoride toothpaste
4. Avoid cat-gut sutures, replace with silk or PGA
5. Avoid collagen membranes for bone grat prior to implant placement, use PTFE
6. Local anesthetic injections are safe (except some report that 2% Lidocaine has trace amount of mammal–replace with Mepivacaine or Articaine)
I have nor found any dental materials used during fillings, crowns, or root canals that should be avoided. Please let me know of other items to add to this list.
Below is a list of dentists recommended by people with AGS. Note that you still need to vet these dentists yourself. We have no way of knowing how reactive to alpha-gal the patient who recommended them is, or how reactive they are compared to you.
If none of these dentists are near you, try and find a dentist who practices vegan dentistry. Be sure to explain that in addition to your allergy to mammalian products, you may also react to carrageenan.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THESE DENTISTS FOR ADVICE. I have had dentists ask to be removed from this list because people with alpha-gal syndrome contacted them looking for information. These names are provided as dentists you may want to make an appointment with, not people to call for free consultations.
SMART Dental Care
Dr. Jeremy Moore
Dr. Jamie Daigle
Dr. Holly Clark
Dr. Khaled Y. Shabany, DMD, MS
Metro West Dental and Implant Institute
Dr. Charles Willis